Jason Shvili
An Israeli in Canada

Wake Up, Europe!

This past Friday, several terrorists acting in the name of the so-called Islamic State murdered at least 120 people in cold blood in Paris. It was the worst violence the French capital had seen since World War II. The people of France will no doubt want to see justice done to those who were involved in this heinous massacre and I don’t think anyone in the international community is going to stand in there way, nor should they.

But what if such an attack had occurred in Israel? Actually, this is a pretty stupid question, because Israel has always been under constant threat of terrorism, and its people have been the victims of countless terrorist acts. So what would happen if the international community were to react to the terrorist attacks in France the same way that it usually reacts to attacks on Israel? There would be a chorus of leaders calling on France to show restraint and not exact a heavy price on the terrorists and their supporters. There might even be demonstrations around the world calling on people to boycott French products because France is participating in the “oppression” of Muslims by conducting air strikes on the Islamic State.

France would be the victim of a worldwide de-legitimization campaign because of what people would call its heavy-handed tactics meant to stamp out terrorism against French citizens. Can you imagine a global campaign against the existence of the French state? Probably not, but this is exactly how the international community has always reacted whenever Israel and its citizens are victims of terrorism.

In fact, just a few days before the City of Lights became a city of bloodshed, the European Union, which of course includes France, officially decided to require the labeling of Israeli products that come from the “occupied” West Bank. This decision came at the same time that Israelis have been enduring a wave of terrorist attacks by Palestinians involving stabbings, shootings and cars being used as weapons to run over and kill Israeli citizens. So now that France has endured its worst terrorist attack in its history, will Israel react by enacting measures that would harm France’s exports? Certainly not. Rather, Israel will wholeheartedly support any action that France takes to bring the terrorists responsible for the bloodletting in Paris to justice, no matter how proportionate or disproportionate that action may be, because Israel stands behind those who are fighting terrorism.

My question is, when is Europe going to wake up, realize who its real friends are, and support Israel when its citizens are the victims of terrorism?

About the Author
Jason Shvili was born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area. He studied at the University of Toronto and now owns and operates a small business. He is proficient in Hebrew and also has working to advanced knowledge of Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.
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